Honorary doctorate for South African professor Lungisile Ntsebeza
South African professor Lungisile Ntsebeza will receive an honorary doctorate on the Foundation Day of Leiden University on Friday 7 February. Ntsebeza is an authority in the democratisation of rural South Africa and poverty reduction. Ntsebeza has been Professor of Sociology and African Studies at the University of Cape Town since 2008, where he is also Director of the Centre of African Studies. He studies the democratisation of rural South Africa, where many traditional and unelected rulers still hold sway. He also conducts research into land rights, poverty reduction and the pre-colonial history of South Africa.
Ties with Leiden
Ntsebeza has strong ties with Leiden and other Dutch universities that go back many years, in particular in the South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD). His book Democracy Compromised was published by the African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL) and Brill. He regularly supervises Dutch and South African PhD candidates, including Nkululeko Mabandla, winner of the Africa Thesis Award in 2012.
Imprisoned during apartheid
Ntsebeza was imprisoned for five years during apartheid. He was arrested for participation in underground study groups and membership of student movements that demonstrated against the apartheid regime. While imprisoned, he obtained, by correspondence, his degree in Political Science and Philosophy. After his release from prison, he was banished in 1981 to the rural village of Cala in the Eastern Cape. He obtained his PhD at Rhodes University in 2002.
‘Loyal to academia’
Ntsebeza was nominated for the honorary doctorate by Jan-Bart Gewald, Professor of History of Africa and Director of the ASCL. ‘During his career, Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza has consistently endeavoured to propagate academic values, such as the fundamental right to freedom of opinion, freedom of association and freedom of speech,’ Gewald writes in his speech. ‘With his contribution to the anti-apartheid movement, Ntsebeza would undoubtedly have been able to live a life of luxury within government or business, but he chose instead to remain true to his role of educator and academic for all, irrespective of race or faith.’
Conference on 60 years of independence in Africa
Ntsebeza will be one of the keynote speakers at the conference ‘Africa: 60 years of independence,’ which will be hosted by the Africanists from Leiden University on 30 January 2020. The conference is one of a series of events that are being held to mark Africa 2020.
This story was originally posted on the Leiden African Studies Centre site here.